• Published 10th Jul 2014
  • 2,352 Views, 42 Comments

Generosity, My Dear Applejack - Crystal Secret

Tragedy strikes Sweet Apple Acres as two of Applejack's closest family members pass on. She receives some money in the mail and decides to visit Canterlot. Along the way encountering Fancy Pants, Sapphire Shores and other colorful characters.

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Chapter 3 - Eyes Back, Hooves Forward

Generosity, My Dear Applejack

by Crystal Secret

Chapter 3 - Eyes Back, Hooves Forward

When Applejack arrived at Rarity’s boutique shortly afterwards, the ponyrazzi weren't far behind her. She ignored the closed sign and burst through the front door, startling the unicorn at her coffee table.

“Applejack, my dear, what are you doing back here so early?” Rarity ushered over to her friend. “Goodness! What happened to you? You’re an absolute mess!”

“No time for that, Rarity, ya gotta do somethin’. The ponyrazzi are on my trail and I need to leave here now,” Applejack blurted out as she tore off her ball gown and threw it to one side.

“Well, yes, but…darling, may I ask why the ponyrazzi are on my doorstep?”

“I don’t wanna talk about it,” Applejack said as Rarity removed the bow from her mane. Besides, there’s no time to explain. I gotta go.” With the removal of her final accessories, Applejack grabbed her saddlebag and found her stetson hat.

“Oh, all right,” Rarity replied. “The back door is this way—follow me.” Rarity led Applejack through the boutique to a hidden metal door that opened up to the back street. “Are you sure you’re going to be okay?” she asked.

“Yes, I know my way back to the train station. I really am sorry, Rarity,” Applejack said, tearing up again. She wrapped her friend up in a quick, tight hug.

“Not a problem, darling. I just hope things improve for you.”

“They will. Goodbye, Rarity,” Applejack said as they shared one last embrace.

“Goodbye, Applejack. I’m sorry things didn’t work out tonight,” Rarity said before Applejack took off down the alleyway.

There was a loud knock on the boutique’s front door. Rarity composed herself, took a breath and trotted to the front of the boutique. When she opened the door, she was greeted by a swarm of cameras flashing and eager reporters standing outside.

“Where is Applejack?” asked one reporter.

“Why did she flee the Crystal Glass Hall earlier this evening?” asked another.

“Can you tell us—”

“No, I don’t know! She’s not here!” Rarity put her forehooves to her hips while leaning against her door. “Now why don’t you all pack up and go home? You’re disturbing the neighborhood!” she shouted angrily at the ponyrazzi before slamming the door.

~ * ~

As Applejack waited on the Canterlot train platform she begun to wonder what had brought her there in the first place. Was it because she had needed a change of pace? Perhaps she had merely decided on a whim that she wanted some grand adventure? No, she had wanted to return the money to Rarity and thank her for the thought, but instead was led off track by the well-established Fancy Pants.

Yet her intriguing little misadventure had led to this point. She should have returned home before the mayhem started, before Fancy Pants even had the chance to ask her out to tea. Or perhaps she shouldn’t have come here in the first place. Then again, if she hadn’t come she wouldn’t have known the irreplaceable experience of one’s first kiss... or the way it felt to be held in the arms of a stallion. Such things may never be experienced again.

“I thought I might find you here.”

Applejack stiffened as she was jerked from her musings, and turned her head to the unexpected voice. “Can’t you just leave me be?” she asked as the train came rushing past them, blowing her mane about.

An empty silence filled the air before Applejack boarded the train, half expecting Fancy to follow her, or call after her. To her surprise, he did neither of those things. Instead, he just stood there and watched longingly as the train pulled away from the station.

For a while, as Applejack stared out the window, her mind wandered off and she thought she might have made a terrible mistake in leaving Fancy on the platform. Alas, what was done, was done; now that her best night ever was over, it was time she returned home and started rebuilding her life. Canterlot had been quite the distraction...but a distraction nonetheless.

Yet in that moment, she realised for the first time that she didn’t really want to go back home. There wasn’t much of a home to return to, truth be told. Her thoughts turned once more to Fancy.

He’s probably already returned to the loneliness of been an upper class bachelor who hasn’t gotten anypony except for the ex-girlfriend that never truly loved him. Sure must be lonely at the top, I s’pose.

Applejack stared out the window; she could see the emptiness of the fields as a blanket of stars hung above them. In the distance a brilliant star shone in the night sky. It seemed to point toward Canterlot, the place where mares were treated to morning tea, ball gowns and concerts. It was the kind of place where memories were made and dreams came true. Yet there she was, alone in her compartment, listening to the chuffing of the steam engine as it chugged along in the dark and lonely night.

As the train steamrolled into Ponyville beneath the gleaming moon, Applejack’s heart sank. This was the last place she wanted to be right now, but it had taken two train rides and a day and a half of being with Fancy Pants to fully realise it.

After exiting the train with a lump in her throat and a heavy weight in her heart, Applejack slugged the entire way back home, through the empty Ponyville streets. As she stood just outside by the mailbox, she willed herself to take another step forward. Just the previous morning, she had been relieved to find herself in the safety and comfort of her beloved home. Now...it almost seemed like there was no use in trying to mend the damage done to the barn.

Applejack dragged herself up the winding path that led to the front door of the house, the full moon looming over with each forced step. When she finally reached the front door, it was still boarded up; evidently, not a soul had been there since she’d left. She unlocked the door and entered the dark and hollow room.

The door creaked slowly as she entered and not a thing had changed since she’d left. Lying on the kitchen table where she left it was her fascinator. Even the lights were off. Nopony had seen the dustiness of this room, nor had they done anything to alter it.
She climbed the staircase up to her bedroom, where she removed her saddlebag and stetson before laying down in her bed. A warm, cozy feeling washed over her as she realized how good it felt to be back in her own bed again. After a while she slowly drifted off to sleep.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

~ * ~

Applejack rose early the next morning so she could get a fresher start on the day. However, the events of the night before still played over in her mind. She rose a hoof to her forehead as the weariness of her fatigue took over.

Perhaps I just need some breakfast.

While in the middle of her apple pancakes, there was an abrupt knock on the door. Mildly confused and slightly irritated, she wondered who in Equestria it could be. When she opened the door, a charming and handsome looking stallion was waiting on the other side.

“What in tarnation?” Applejack did a double take. “Fancy, what are y’all doin here? Who said ya could come visit me on my farm anyway?”

“Good morning, Applejack. First and foremost, I am here to apologise for what happened last night. I assure you, I did not expect Fleur to make such a ghastly performance.” Fancy bowed his head and removed his hat. “It may not be any consolation, but Fleur is in a rather large amount of hot water, regarding her statements last night.”

“I should darn well hope so! Her comments were just plain disgustin’!”

“The press has also decided to leave you alone, at my most vehement request. Which brings me to my second point.” He raised his head and smiled right into Applejack’s eyes. “I would also like to fulfil the promise I made to you yesterday.”

“What promise?”

“This,” he replied. He took a step away from the door and extended a hoof out before him.

Applejack turned to look where Fancy was pointing. Behind him was a crowd of ponies all wearing a blue overall uniform and all holding various tools and equipment. Her mouth fell open. “What…did you really…?”

“These fine, hardworking stallions and mares are those workers I promised I would lend you. I have temporarily excused them from their day jobs to lend a hoof down here on Sweet Apple Acres. They are here to help you, Applejack.”

Fancy bowed before her. “That is, if you are willing to accept their help. We did have an agreement, after all.”

Applejack just stood and stared at the crowd of smiling, eager ponies. A wave of excitement grew inside of her. “Ya got a lotta nerve showin’ up with this here crew, Fancy Pants,” she said. But then the smile returned to her face. “You’re right, though—we did make a deal.”

She faced the multi-coloured crowd of unicorns. “All right, let’s get to work everypony!” she exclaimed as she reared up into the air.
“That’s the spirit, my dear!” Fancy nodded, then turned his own body to his workers. “You heard her everypony, get to work!”

With the order from Fancy, the eager crowd of ponies dispersed and began working to rebuild the farm. A group of stallions cleared away the ruins of the barn in order to make room to build anew, while other ponies proceeded to dig up dead trees. Still more ponies were planting seeds in their trails. Applejack had not seen such efficiency and order since the annual Winter Wrap Up the year before.

She made to join the workers, but found a hoof pressed to her chest after a single step. “No, Applejack,” Fancy said. “You, my dear, have already worked hard enough, and suffered enough through events that were not your fault. I insist that you relax and let us take care of everything.”

Applejack opened her mouth to protest, then thought better of it. She gave in and watched cheerfully as the barn went up and colour started to return to her world once more.

At that moment, the grey clouds overhead decided they could not hold their loads any longer. The rain was cool and wet as it tickled her mane and her coat. She closed her eyes and remembered how days like this had been far and few between; she did not even look up to notice that Fancy was slowly approaching her.

“I always did admire your rustic charm,” he confessed.

With those words, Applejack opened her eyes to look at him.

“Come here, you magnificent stallion.” She pulled him forcibly toward her and planted her muzzle to his. A warm, tingling sensation took over as their tongues collided in a ceremony of wet, slow kisses.

The moment seemed to last forever and yet, at the same time only a few seconds. She had never imagined that such a lovely summer romance could become of the unfortunate events that had occurred recently, but she knew with all her heart that this would not last. This wasn’t meant to be and it would only ever be a flimsy summer romance but at least it would make a good story to tell her foals someday.

As the rain started to let up, those thoughts drifted to the back of her mind as she enjoyed the moment. She could hear a roar of approval from the crowd of ponies and a new hope started brewing in her heart. Could this in fact work out after all? She didn’t know, and it didn’t matter. She was here now: she would live for now and dream for tomorrow.

The End

Author's Note:

Sorry for the overly long wait on the last installment, I couple of things came up and I was rather preoccupied.

I really hope you enjoyed my story, its just a little story I wrote from the heart. However, it wouldn't be what it is today without my imitable editor; Cerulean Voice who was so kind as to put up with all of my shenanigans for a week and graciously edit for me. Not only that, but he also had a small hand in writing it. He was a brilliant editor, teacher and good friend. Please, give his stories the attention they deserve.

I would also really like to thank all the people who took the time out of their day to not only read, but also provide feedback as well. I'm really sorry about taking so long to post this but life has its bumps in the road.

Thanks for reading.

- Crystal Secret

Comments ( 13 )

I have to admit, I wasn't too certain on how this ship would sail at first. Having read it, I like it. A lot. As in I wish there was more to read. Thank you for the story.

And I, thank you for your comment. :twilightsmile:

*Clears throat*
Ahem... from the wiki itself.
And what's wrong with a little wordplay? The entire story is about Applejack seizing the day, after all.

taking advantage of emotionally vulnerable mare in three days!!! by Fancy Pants. Satisfaction guaranteed! (richness not included):pinkiehappy:

It was all right, but some parts definitely felt a little flat.

4744356 Huh, seems I am mistaken, though those things that make up her cutie mark are called fleur de lis but wharever. Yeah I get thats the theme but its still a lame pun.

Love the story! :heart: Though I do wonder what Fancy's motivation was. He could have any mare he wanted. Why would he choose Applejack? Other than being rustic, what did she do to cause him to fall for her? :applejackunsure:

Rarity doesn't seem all that broken up about her friend's night being ruined, especially considering she doesn't know how it was ruined.

Was it because she had needed a change of pace? Perhaps she had merely decided on a whim that she wanted some grand adventure? No, she had wanted to return the money to Rarity and thank her for the thought,

Yes, she did want a change in pace and yes, she was looking for a grand adventure. Why is this 100% opposite to everything she concluded in the opening chapter? Applejack doesn't lie, even to herself.

She should have returned home before the mayhem started, before Fancy Pants even had the chance to ask her out to tea.

How the hell was she supposed to do that when he asked her right off the bucking train?

Didn't Fancy mention that these ponies he's brought along are factory workers? Shouldn't they get some instruction, first? I would think a little segue of AJ showing them what to do so that her farm shines like it did in its heyday would have been a much more compelling moment for everyone. Besides, AJ would never let others do all the work for her, she'd rather push up daisies.

Final thoughts...

In the end, this story had too many plot pitfalls to really pull me in. The entire relationship came so quick and with reasons not entirely clear that it all just felt forced. When you have two characters so directly opposite in lifestyle, personality and function, you can't put them together in two days and expect me to believe it. Fancy and Applejack needed time to really grow into one another, and you didn't give them that at all, so the whole thing came out as blatantly unbelievable for me. Give me a real, solid reason for these two to be together, and then I'll bite.

There are definitely some things done right with this story. The grammar and style of writing are nearly impeccable. I can see Cerulean's hand in this – he is truly a great editor in this vein and your are lucky to have him. The concept is solid and original enough to warrant my attention.

Yet I am one of those rare few out there who cares less about grammar, specializing instead in plot flow, realism and execution. These fields of literature are not so commonly addressed, partially because the rules for them aren't so clear cut as when to use a em-dash over an en-dash. These are areas that you clearly need to work on.

Take heart! These things take practice, and with your wonderfully early start you've got plenty of time to do so. If you can learn to weave the tale, I see great stories in your future.


First of all I would like to formally apologize for such a late response to your many though provoking and detailed comments. It's certainly a pleasure to have you review my story like that out of the blue but it does beg the question; Why are you reviewing my story if the winner of the competition hasn't even be announced yet? :rainbowderp:

But I would like to give my most sincere thanks anyway. After all, your constructive criticism is most appreciated it. :raritywink: Yet in life all good things must come to an end and that is why I would like to point you in the direction of this blog: Blog

Yes, I would like for you to give it a read if you haven't already. But might I point out that if I do end up winning then it wouldn't be the first I won a writing competition shortly before/after leaving a place of significance.

Your feedback is most appreciated and I hope you enjoy the rest of your day/night. :twilightsmile:


Crystal Secret

This isn't my idea of a review, although I can see why you'd think that. Plus, if you win I most likely won't be the one doing the reviewing. But, to answer your question: I offer this level of criticism with every chapter of every story I read. Every writer deserves a chance to improve, and I want to grant that by offering my thoughts thoroughly. So whether this was for a contest or not, I would have given it the same attention. I love writing and I love watching other writers get better at it.

I'm sorry to see that you've left FIMFiction, but I can understand your reasons. I wish you luck on all your writing endeavors in the future.

Author Interviewer

If I may be so bold, I read The Last of Its Kind back in 2016 and saw a lot of potential. I feel like you've definitely lived up to it. I hope you're proud of how far you've come as a writer, and continue to improve with time. :D

(Of course, having said that, I realize you wrote these literally months apart. c.c Well, whatevs, you're good, so feel good, darnit!)

Whatever its flaws, the writing in this story itself is very beautiful. You definitely have a talent. The tale was engaging and wonderfully descriptive. I enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing. :twilightsmile:

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